What’s Your Alignment?

Written by Kevin Dulle, Director of Experience Innovations at NewGround

The biggest determination in the success of any business is alignment of the leadership team. The more aligned to a goal a team becomes, the greater the energy is in achieving that goal. In comparison, misalignment of the leadership team can produce multiple barriers hindering success. How do you know if your team is truly aligned to the same goal or vision? You need a powerful tool that can address organizational alignment.

Back in 2004, NewGround was tasked with developing this tool for the banking community to help senior management understand their leadership’s alignment and the impact it has on their growth potential. This tool, now called WayPoint, was then distributed to over 400 senior bank executives from all over the world. The final results were eye-opening, proving that WayPoint’s benefits are worthwhile.

It’s now 2020, and this same tool is now in its third generation, still helping leadership teams analyze their team’s growth potential. To give you a glimpse into how WayPoint works, here is a simple experiment you can use to start that conversation. Although not as deeply developed as the insights and information that WayPoint produces, it can help initiate that first conversation amongst your team. What is your alignment?

Step 1:
Determine along the Solution Focus scale below the range of products and services you believe you need to provide as part of your financial institution’s business offering. Mark on the graph between “All” possible offerings to “Specific” offerings. It’s a variable scale and serves merely as an indicator.

Step 2: As in Step 1, now determine along the Customer Focus scale below the range of types of customers you believe you need to provide for as part of your financial institution’s business model. Mark on the graph between “All” customers to a single “Specific” type of customer.

Step 3: Transfer these marks on both scales to the grid as demonstrated below. Begin with Solution Focus across the bottom as you indicated in Step 1. Now, move up to the level of Customer Focus you indicated in Step 2. (See example below.)

Step 4: Place a mark or dot at the conjunction of Solution Focus and Customer Focus. Below is a blank grid for you to use.

Step 5: Have each member of your leadership team perform the same task without sharing their results until everyone has completed their grids.

Step 6: Transfer everyone’s marks or dots to one master grid to compare each person’s perception of your business. Submit each person’s grid anonymously to avoid any negative responses to any given individual.

Observations: What do you notice? How aligned are the leadership’s perceptions to one another? Is there a unique pattern to the marks or dots that is created? 

An Additional Step: Look at the grid provided below and compare the placement of your team’s perceptions. You can now see how aligned your leadership team is based on how defined or vague perceptions fall within the grid. The four quads below indicate specific areas of focus: market focused, experiential, traditional, and product driven. Where does your organization fall?

To learn more about WayPoint 3.0 and how NewGround can help take your team to the next level, please visit us at ourwaypoint.com and newground.com.

Download the full activity here.

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